There are over 80 museums in Prague, housing collections on everything from history to art to geology. The city’s largest and one of the most visited is the National Museum, with an impressive collection of over 14 million items that rotate through temporary and permanent exhibitions throughout the year.
But Prague is also home to many quirky museums: museums of illusions, museums chronicling the history of Communism, and even one dedicated to Trabant-brand cars, considered a symbol of the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. There’s also a museum of toilets and a Ghost and Legends Museum. Many of the smaller, newer museums cater heavily to tourists –and while they do contain educational exhibits, they also have higher prices and are located in some of the main touristic areas of the city.
If “commercial” museums leave you feeling underwhelmed, you’re in luck. Prague is also home to a number of homegrown museums, little less-known places where you can get a real understanding of the history of the city.
Here are our 3 favorite museums in Prague every resident should visit.
Karel Zeman Museum
Karel Zeman was a Czech film director best known for his films that combine live-action with animation. Zeman was a huge fan of Jules Verne and he managed to bring to life some of his best novels, including The Mysterious Island and Journey to the Center of the Earth. Visiting the museum is a great way to get to know this master of illusion through interactive exhibits, cinematic tricks and genius media displays.
Museum of Public Transport
Prague’s trams are an essential part of the spirit of the city, and visiting this museum will give you a chance to enjoy its ancestors – over 50 antique public transport vehicles that date as far back as the 1800s. Jump on horse-drawn tram cars, see the luxury of early all-wood cars and discover historical documents, films and models at this stunning museum.
Bonus: You can take a virtual tour of the museum here.
City of Prague Museum
If you ever wanted to know how Prague came to be, this is the museum to visit. A large historical collection that offers a peek into Prague during different eras, including the tumultuous medieval times and the exuberant 1700s, where many magnificent buildings came to life. There’s also an 1830s paper model of Prague recreating the historical center over a 20 square meter area.